College Students' Road Trip Ends in Deadly Shootout

2 alleged forest dwellers charged with killing 22-year-old Adam Simjee in Alabama
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 17, 2022 11:40 AM CDT
College Students' Road Trip Ends in Deadly Shootout
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/ipopba)

(Newser) – A Florida college student exploring the Alabama wilderness with his girlfriend was fatally wounded during a shootout with a would-be robber who appeared to be living with others in the woods, authorities said. Adam Simjee, 22, was shot to death in the Talladega National Forest near popular Cheaha State Park in east Alabama on Sunday, the Clay County Sheriff's Office said in a statement Tuesday, per the AP. Yasmine Hider and Krystal Diane Pinkins were charged with murder, kidnapping, and robbery. Wounded several times during the confrontation, Hider was awaiting transfer to jail from a Birmingham hospital where she underwent surgery for her wounds. Pinkins, 36, was jailed.

The couple was driving on a National Forest Service road when Hider flagged them down and asked for help with her car, sheriff's officials said. The woman then pulled out a gun and ordered them into the woods, they said. Simjee pulled out a pistol he was carrying and shot Hider several times, but he also was hit and died at the scene. Hider called out for help and Pinkins emerged from the forest before fleeing, authorities said. Simjee died despite the efforts of his girlfriend, 20-year-old Mikayla Paulus, who was performing CPR on him when authorities arrived, the statement said.

Authorities using a dog tracking team and a state police helicopter found a camp where they saw Pinkins, whose 5-year-old son ran from the woods with a loaded shotgun as officers were arresting her, sheriff’s officials said. No more shots were fired. Pinkins' son was taken by child welfare workers, and Pinkins was charged with endangering the welfare of a child in addition to the other counts. The women may have been living "off the grid" in the National Forest, the sheriff's statement said, and forestry workers dismantled their camp. The uninjured Paulus told AL.com that she and Simjee were on "one last road trip" before starting their school year at the University of Central Florida. "I lost the love of my life," she said. "This will be with me forever." (Read more shooting death stories.)

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